Part laboratory, part sanctuary, the gardens surrounding landscape architect Nord Eriksson’s Pasadena home bring together a lifetime of influences. The 1949 ranch-style home won over Nord and his family six years ago and offered the chance to develop artful garden rooms on the 18,000 square foot lot. Largely a blank slate, the grounds beckoned for something new. Six years later, hints of Nord’s appreciation of Scandinavian, Japanese, and Mediterranean design can be found in the remade gardens.
The gently sloping land, anchored by a magnificent native Englemann Oak, was terraced to create interest, retain rainwater, and create a variety of spaces for family life and entertaining. A tapestry of textural paving weaves throughout… concrete, brick, slate, gravel and pebble are crafted into a soulful mix. Walls of arroyo cobble and concrete block trace lines in the garden, originally laid out by pioneering landscape architect Edward Huntsman-Trout. A sojourn to Spain and Mallorca allowed Nord to study resilient landscapes and influenced his design of the lap pool and plantings of the rear gardens. In the front yard, ivy has been replaced by a mix of grasses and salvia’s with accents of agaves’ and aloes.
Today, the garden grows, teaches lessons, and brings deep satisfaction. It’s a joy to come home to…and a gift to share.
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The home and gardens sit near the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains
A careful balance of architecture and nature lends an air of tranquility to the overall composition.
Rustic textures play off the architectural lines drawn by the hardscape.
Gravel paves the main terrace overlooking the lower garden and back house.